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“You have got a friend” The value of perceived proximity for teleworking success in dispersed teams

Abstract : As a way to enable employees to work distantly, teleworking has gained a growing interest in companies. At the same time, management challenges regarding the teleworkers’ risk of isolation, coupled with the need to maintain cohesion for the dispersed team, to give an example, are various. How can management practices help to maintain adequate levels of perceived proximity for a dispersed team’s members? The purpose of this paper is to answer this question. Referring to a particular person’s perception of how close or how far another person is, the concept of perceived proximity is mobilized. This Telecom case study is based on 22 interviews with human resources directors, managers and teleworkers. While the results of this study appear to corroborate empirically the theoretical model as proposed by O’Leary et al. (2014), they also propose nuances, highlighting the importance of the interpersonal relationship to expand the perceived proximity and stressing the need for both distant and face-to-face exchanges. They also help to understand which management practices can influence perceived proximity. In particular, they help to understand the role of communication and collective identity and support the importance of the e-leader. Finally, the results highlight two remote management modes that will be discussed elaborately.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 3:21:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 4:08:17 PM



Caroline Ruiller, Beatrice van der Heijden, Frédérique Chédotel, Marc Dumas. “You have got a friend” The value of perceived proximity for teleworking success in dispersed teams. Team Performance Management, Emerald, 2019, 25 (1/2), pp.2-29. ⟨10.1108/TPM-11-2017-0069⟩. ⟨halshs-02442562⟩



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